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Climate-warming gases being smuggled into Europe, investigation says

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Reuters or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A recent report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) highlights a significant smuggling operation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from China and Turkey into Europe, contravening global efforts to phase out these potent climate-warming gases

🔭 The context: HFCs, used primarily in cooling systems, are greenhouse gases with a global warming potential thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide
• Despite global commitments under the 2016 Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reduce HFC usage significantly, smugglers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to bypass European Union regulations

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The illegal trade of HFCs undermines international agreements aimed at combating climate change
• With HFCs being substantially more impactful on global warming than CO2, their unchecked circulation exacerbates environmental damage and challenges global climate goals

⏭️ What's next: As smugglers continue to exploit regulatory loopholes and the demand for HFCs remains high, European authorities are pressed to enhance enforcement measures
• The situation underscores the need for global cooperation and effective policy implementation to ensure the success of the HFC phase-down initiative

💬 One quote: "It's still pretty easy to find illegal HFCs in the European market," said Fin Walravens, a senior EIA campaigner, emphasizing the ongoing challenge of combating the illicit trade of these gases

📈 One stat: Illegal HFCs smuggled into Europe could account for 20-30% of legally traded volumes, translating to up to 30 million tons of CO2 equivalent, revealing the scale of the problem and its implications for climate change efforts

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